Spectacular celebration of Chinese New Year is coming to Haverhill

Chinese New Year celebrations with Lion Dancing will be coming to Haverhill
Chinese New Year celebrations with Lion Dancing will be coming to Haverhill

The eye-catching sight of a traditional Chinese Lion Dance is coming to Haverhill High Street.

The spectacle has been organised by Haverhill Town Council to celebrate the February 16 start of the Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) and will leave the arts centre at 11.15am and proceed to Market Square.

As it is traditionally believed in China that the lion is an auspicious animal, the lion dance is performed for good luck on big occasions, such as the Chinese New Year.

Dancers within the costume will imitate a lion’s movements accompanied by the sounds of beating drums, clashing cymbals, and resounding gongs.

Colin Poole, Haverhill town clerk, said: “We’re thrilled Haverhill will officially celebrate the Chinese New Year for the first time.

“Aside from looking forward to the vivid spectacle, I hope it will encourage other communities within Haverhill to contact the town council as we may be able to help mark their high days and holidays too.”

Haverhill Town Councillor John Burns, a lover of Chinese New Year celebrations, added: “I’m really pleased, thanks to the assistance of Haverhill Town Councillor Winny Yang, that we will be celebrating this in Haverhill.”

After the lion reaches the Market Square the Chinese flag will be raised by Steven Zhou owner of the China Inn restaurant and vice chair of the Fujian Federation of Industry and Commerce in the UK at about 11.30pm.

Following the flag raising ceremony there will be a further demonstration of Chinese lion dancing.

The Lion Dancers are from Cambridge Chinese Community Centre.

Originally its members were mainly Hong Kong Chinese but in recent years more mainland Chinese have come and set up home, in the area and so its numbers have grown.

Anyone who is interested in Chinese culture can go along and learn about traditional Chinese dance, TaiChi, drawing and languages.